If the U.S.-designed and built Toyota RV8E can win the race in Milwaukee, it would be almost 19 years to the day since the last time a U.S.-designed and built engine won a Champ Car race. Mike Mosley went from last to first at The Milwaukee Mile...
If the U.S.-designed and built Toyota RV8E can win the race in Milwaukee, it would be almost 19 years to the day since the last time a U.S.-designed and built engine won a Champ Car race. Mike Mosley went from last to first at The Milwaukee Mile on June 7, 1981, on the last occurrence.
Toyota needs only a fifth-place finish this weekend to match its previous best Manufacturer's Points season total in just the sixth race of the year. The manufacturer has scored at least one fourth-place finish or better in every race this season. Overall, Toyota had scored 70 points after Nazareth, just 10 behind the 80 scored last season.
Toyota arrives at The Milwaukee Mile looking to stretch its series-high front row qualifying streak to seven races. Over the past six races, Toyota has won three poles (Juan Montoya - Motegi and Nazareth; Scott Pruett - Fontana, 1999) and qualified second three times (Montoya - Miami and Rio; Jimmy Vasser - Long Beach). No other manufacturer has currently registered more than two in a row.
To date this season, Toyota has earned five front row starting spots, the highest in the series. How front row qualifying has broken down this season:
1. Toyota 5
2. Honda 3
3. Ford 2
Juan Montoya has qualified on the front row in four of five races this season. Ironically, it was Target Toyota teammate Jimmy Vasser that nudged out Montoya for the front row at Long Beach resulting in a third-place starting position for the Colombian.
ot only has Juan Montoya started up front, he's shown that he certainly knows what to do once he gets there. Montoya leads the FedEx Championship Series in laps led with 303 - more than double the next closest driver. He's led in three of the five races run this season and on three of the four ovals (Homestead, Motegi and Nazareth).
Three Toyota drivers enter Milwaukee in the top 10 in FedEx Championship Series points. Jimmy Vasser currently stands second with 48 points. He's followed by Cristiano da Matta in ninth with 25 and Juan Montoya in 10th with 22. Da Matta had the previous high-water mark for Toyota drivers with 32 points a year ago when he finished 18th overall.
RICE, WHELDON RENEW TOYOTA ATLANTIC FIGHT - After a six-week layoff, the Toyota Atlantic Championship returns to the track at Milwaukee with title contenders Buddy Rice and Daniel Wheldon renewing their rivalry. Rice has two wins and a second this year, while rookie Wheldon has a victory and a second to his credit. Wheldon's PPI teammate Andrew Bordin and second-generation driver Rocky Moran Jr. sit third and fourth in the points and are sure to be heard from at Milwaukee.
Jim Aust, Toyota vice president for motorsports:
"We're pleased with how we're running. Unfortunately, our luck has left a lot to be desired. Juan (Montoya) has had the field covered in each of the last two races only to see wins disappear due to some freak bad luck. Hopefully, we'll shake that at Milwaukee and earn our way into the winner's circle."
Juan Montoya, #1 Target Toyota:
"Things are going pretty good for us now. The Target car and the Toyota engine both have been very good. Sometimes bad things happen that you can't control."*
*Note: Montoya led 172 of 175 laps at Motegi before an air hose disconnected the pop-off valve sensor on his last pit stop with 25 laps to go. At Nazareth, he led 110 of the first 118 laps before he suffered a puncture after running over debris from another driver making contact with the wall. He finished seventh at Motegi and fourth at Nazareth.
Manufacturer's Championship: 1. Ford 88 2. Honda 88 3. Toyota 70 4. Mercedes- Benz 31